I don't disagree, but I don't think it's always either/or

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Posted by Underbruin on July 11, 2018 at 16:28:23

In Reply to: I Should Have Better Explained My Larger Point posted by LCTiger on July 11, 2018 at 12:23:46

I actually had what I think is a pretty similar line of conversation as your post, with 68mgr below.

I don't know if I agree with your earlier point - "It is clear that UCLA Men's Basketball does not currently have such a culture, nor do many of its participants demonstrate a strong appreciation of the benefits of staying in it, as demonstrated by the fact that most players who perceive any substantial NBA opportunity seem to leave at the earliest opportunity." I think you're right that UM looks for multi-year players. I think that's what Alford has pivoted to recently as well - for the same reason UM or Villanova bring them in, which is almost certainly because they believe targeting those players in recruiting to be the best long-term formula for success. It's occurring at those schools not because of university mission, but because those coaches have a vision for their program that happens to mesh better with the multi-year approach. I can almost guarantee you that if Beilein had a chance at Lonzo or Leaf he would have taken either or both in a heartbeat.

I actually DON'T think it's as hard as 68 makes it out to be to recruit multi-year high-major talent - I'd argue UCLA is already doing it with a pretty high level of success over the past 2 classes, and their 2019 class looks to be continuing the trend Jaquez and Sherfield are both 4*, top-100 players but neither is remotely considered a 1-and-done; Kyman's a bit more of a developmental prospect (in fact Jaquez was a top UM target before he committed). I think Alford recognized he's NOT able to bring in 1-and-dones consistently enough to use that model, and has finally pivoted to a strategy that might fit his approach better, and happens to align closer with your preferred outcome in terms of tenure.

Unfortunately for Steve, he can't just wipe away the first 5 seasons - this is very much 'put up or shut up' time. I do think he's taking a much better view of personnel management, but there are also substantial questions about his teaching ability (especially on D). And I'm unwilling to wait the 2-3 years it would probably take to determine whether or not he can get multi-year kids, coach them up, and build a consistent recruiting pipeline. He needs to show that he can be successful with the team he has now, because after 5 years at UCLA the results just haven't been there.

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